2010-11-13 17:19:18

Myanmar pro-democracy leader Suu Kyi freed

(November 13, 2010) Military-ruled Myanmar freed Nobel Peace Prize-winner Aung San Suu Kyi on Saturday after her latest period of house arrest expired, giving the country a powerful pro-democracy voice just days after a widely criticised election. "There is a time to be quiet and a time to talk. People must work in unison. Only then can we achieve our goal," Suu Kyi told thousands of cheering supporters at the gates of her lakeside compound. She then retreated back inside her home for the first meeting with her National League for Democracy party in seven years as world leaders applauded her release, expressed relief and urged the military junta in the former Burma to free more of its estimated 2,100 political prisoners. "The United States welcomes her long overdue release," U.S. President Barack Obama said in a statement. "It is time for the Burmese regime to release all political prisoners, not just one." British Prime Minister David Cameron also said her freedom was long overdue. "Freedom is Aung San Suu Kyi's right. The Burmese regime must now uphold it," he said. German Chancellor Angela Merkel called on Myanmar's rulers to free Myanmar's remaining political prisoners. "Aung San Sui Kyi is a symbol for the global fight for the realisation of human rights. Her non-violence and relentnessness have turned her into an admired role model," the German government said in a statement. Suu Kyi, who has spent 15 of the past 21 years in detention, had her house arrest extended last August, when a court found she had broken a law protecting the state against "subversive elements" by allowing an American intruder to stay at her home for two nights.

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